In the midst of our budget crises and schools having to let teachers go, other teachers are being paid to not work. Yes, you read that right, people are being paid to NOT work. This is so wrong. Ironically, I was talking to my principal just today about the unions and how hard it is to let go of an employee. My focus is typically on the teachers since I am one, but it’s not just teachers. School employees all have their own unions. In my district, we have the “certificated” union and the “classified” union. Two separate unions, but same general idea. One is for teachers (certificated) and the other is for the other staff members who do not have a teaching certification (classified).
My administrator (principal) was explaining how the union typically finds loop holes which makes it difficult for the district to get rid of the teacher (teacher also means any staff member!). In extreme instances such as sexual misconduct, child endangerment, etc., the staff member is let go fairly quickly and without a whole lot of fuss. However, simply being a “bad” employee is a whole other ball game. For instance, the staff member first has to be put on a “Plan of Success” in which the school has a special plan of action to help that staff member become successful at their job. Actually, let’s simplify it. There is a whole lot of red tape and bullshit that goes along with getting rid of a bad employee. If the administrator happens to miss a deadline or any one of the other bazillion little details that s/he is required to meet in regards to the employee, this means that the union has found their loop hole. If an employee claims, “I didn’t know,” it becomes the administrators job to PROVE that the employee did know. This all sounds fine and dandy, but it is taken out of extreme by the unions. What is meant to protect the innocent becomes loop holes to keep the guilty. Wrong, wrong, wrong!!
So, my blogger friend at Stiletto’s in the Sand alerted me to the fact that there has been recent news about just this. I wasn’t able to read much before my blood was boiling. Following are some key excerpts from the LA Times:
About 160 instructors and others get salaries for doing nothing while their job fitness is reviewed. They collect roughly $10 million a year, even as layoffs are considered because of a budget gap. [What is wrong with this picture?!?!?! Someone call in the budget police NOW! Taxpayers, scream and throw a fit! Something needs to be done NOW about this!!!]
For seven years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has paid Matthew Kim a teaching salary of up to $68,000 per year, plus benefits…His job is to do nothing… At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school…
Most cases take months to adjudicate, but some take years. Kim, 41, has persisted the longest..the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs. [The only thing that I can say is that I don’t even make anywhere near $68k a year and I work my ASS off to make what I make!]
As far as I know, there are no employees getting paid to do nothing in our district. I sure hope not. As an employee, dead beat being paid to do nothing employee, these people should be completely ashamed. I can not comprehend what type of person is ok with sitting at home doing nothing and getting paid for it. Do they have no shame? How can they even hold their head up? This is wrong. However, the employees aren’t completely to blame here. Why does the district allow this to go on for so long? Is it because of the legal issues such as all of the mediations and working within the time frame of the court system or is because the district simply hasn’t made it a priority? Again, all I can say is that if I were a taxpayer in these areas I would be having a fit. Heck, I am having a fit and I don’t even live there! I do not understand how this can go on.
Quick!!! Someone do something!
This isn’t a very well written piece and I know it. Deal with it. This makes me too mad to spend too much time one it. 🙂